[Marxism] Dystopian novels
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 1 06:55:57 MDT 2007
Two novels about America’s future: writers need a new perspective
By Sandy English
1 August 2007
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy, New York: Random House, 2006, 287 pp.
The Pesthouse by Jim Crace, New York: Doubleday, 2007, 255 pp.
These two recent novels, different in quality, attitude and impact, both
depict a bleak and miserable fictional future for the United States in
which human relations have become thoroughly degraded.
The imagining of the future has been a critical component of modern
fiction. Generally speaking, nineteenth century novels looked to the
future with hope and anticipation. The explosive growth of the
productive forces, including astonishing scientific and technical
advances, fueled such sentiments. The emergence of a mass socialist
culture in Europe, and to some extent the US, played no small part in
that. In any event, society seemed to have a promising future, even if
its social relations had to be drastically rearranged.
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